In a vase on Monday – Dahlias and Zinnias begin their summer bounty

The past week has been even hotter than the week before and still there has been no rain and with none forecast for at least the next two weeks I think we can say that the drought has started early and with the soil already parched from a rainless winter and spring much of the garden is already looked very stressed.  So I am even more pleased to have flowers to cut to enjoy in the house from the irrigated cutting beds.

Cathy at Rambling in the garden encourages us all to fill a vase with flowers from our gardens or nearby to enjoy in our homes and share with the many contributors to this popular meme.

Despite having their early shoots blackened by the late frost at the end of April the dahlias are all growing well and the plants are producing strong stems of profuse flowers – earwigs have found them this year so I may have to put up some traps to stop them damaging the petals.  The Zinnias are also just beginning to produce their profusion of flowers, from my records they have taken about 8 weeks from sowing to producing strong stemmed blooms, they certainly earn their place in the cut flower beds.

In a vase on Monday

I used the crystal vase this week; this shape is really easy to use; I should look for more vases with this shape in different sizes.

Airiness is added with Knautia macedonia kindly given to me by Liz from The blooming garden

Verbena bonariensis has seeded itself into the cut flower beds and as it doesn’t take up much space and other plants grow though it quite happily I’ve left it.  Although not exactly planned the beds this year seem less organised and more exuberant, a little like Sarah Raven’s colour garden at Chelsea this year.

Dill flowers compliment the flowers in shades of pink from pale to deep crimson

The Cleome is from saved seed, the small pink dahlia is from seed grown last year

Larkspur is combined with white and pale yellow to give a lighter arrangement

Achelia ptarmica The Pearl is used as supporting foliage along with more Dill.  The self seeded Larkspur have produced a few that are in delicate shades of China blue with add variation to the deeper blues of the original plants.

A white Dahlia forms the focal point of the arrangement

When I’d finished putting together the previous two vases there was still quite a few flowers left in the bucket; lacking the energy to do very much more (I don’t cope well with high temperatures) I simply plonked all the remaining stems into a simple cylindrical vase.

The remaining flowers were plonked into another vase

The spiky dark red Dahlia tends to stuck in light and become almost invisible in a vase with other deep coloured blooms, here with lighter shades and photographed outside it is seen to advantage.

Dahlias, Rudbeckias and new for this year Didiscus ‘Blue Lace’

I did sow Didiscus ‘Blue Lace’ last year but the poor quality compost I used at the beginning of the season meant that none grew into usable plants; this year they have done much better and produce pale blue flower-heads that look a little like Alliums.

Didiscus ‘Blue Lace’

What will you find in your garden to pick today?

With thanks to Cathy for encouraging us all to enjoy our flowers inside the house as well as in the garden.

Thursday is the 22nd of the month and I will be posting about the foliage in the garden, I hope you will join me.


42 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – Dahlias and Zinnias begin their summer bounty

  1. Your cutting garden must look a picture with all those beauties in it! I eapecially like the second vase with pretty blues and yellows. I sowed Didiscus this year too, and the plants are just about 10 cm tall… not sure if I should plant them out as our snails are hungry this year. Perhaps I will put them in a large pot instead. They are such lovely flowers. Enjoy your vases indoors Christina. Do you have air-conditioning in your home?

    • No, we don’t have air conditioning Cathy but the walls of the house are about 70cm thick so the house especially downstairs keeps comfortably cool if I open and close the shutters and windows appropriately. Yesterday and today there is a breeze which is making it feel a bit more comfortable. I’m pleased with the Didiscus although the blue doesn’t go with everything in the same way the Larkspur seems to.

  2. What a fabulous range of flowers…I take my hat off to you: good planning, and timely sowing and planting are all needed, as well as a great flair for matching colours. Keep cool and happy IAVOM>

    • thank you; I know sowing seed seems a lot of work but I really enjoy that side of gardening and having blooms in the summer is difficult here without lots of irrigation which I don’t feel is justified for the whole garden but I am happy to do for the vegetables and cut flowers.

  3. Beautiful summery bouquets, Christina. I realized my garden is two months behind yours, so I get to enjoy summer that much longer. I just sowed zinnias last week, as it has been too cold and rainy for these tropical temperature-loving plants. Sorry to hear that you are having the opposite weather. Drought and heat is stressful for both people and plants.

    • I felt the same way about seeing your spring when mine had long gone. The heat is certainly stressful to me as I really don’t cope with the heat. Zinnias are such wonderful plants pumping pumping out the flowers from June until the first frost.

  4. You will have heard that we have a heatwave here in the UK too – up to 30 degrees yesterday and today… but at least I know it is set fair for the open days! Great to see your dahlias – I resisted mine today. My zinnias are looking good I am pleased to say but not ready to flower yet. I particularly like the rich colours of your first vase – and you have such bounty in two others as well! The didiscus is certainly making an impact – I have heard of it but not seen seeds available. Thanks for sharing and hope you continue with some cool breezes to take the edge off your heat!

  5. Seeing all your summer blooms makes me really happy. Each vase is unique. Lovely zinnias–mine were planted late so a few more weeks away. The delicate light blue larkspur is fantastic. And that Didiscus is amazing. It’s new to me also. The photograph of it “Dahlias, Rudbeckias and new for this year Didiscus ‘Blue Lace’” is gorgeous. Have a wonderful week Christina and stay cool.

    • It was an interesting result as I picked masses of everything and just put things together as as the whim took me. The vases do all look completely different but have in fact mostly the same flowers. I should photograph all the vases outside but it is so hot I don’t have the energy.

  6. Despite your terrible heat, you’ve got a splendid – and varied – collection of beautiful flowers, Christina. I adore the dahlia shown in your second to last photo and the new-to-me Didiscus. I understand your reaction to the extreme heat – it sends me running for cover too, and confines my gardening to early morning and evening hours. I hope you get a break in temperature soon. We’ve got a heatwave going here too but the marine layer near the coast is still taking the edge off it in my location; however, the air quality worsens daily.

    • I’ve never been good with high temperatures Kris and this year it is terrifying that it has started this early. From the garden’s point of view the fact that it has been so dry for so long just makes matters worse. But I know you understand what it is like! With this heat I find the flowers don’t even last so long in a vase so I think I will begin to just change them every couple of days.

  7. So many beautiful flowers in your vases….not sure any of my dahlias, zinnias and other flowers will grow given our very strange weather.

  8. Didiscus is new to me and gorgeous and on the list for Autumn seeds. I am finding the heatwave challenging here in London and worrying about my allotment in Bristol. But I guess it’s good to get the vitamins up with sunshine.

  9. It all looks gorgeous, your dahlias are wonderful. The colours are so rich. All your vases shout summer! I’ve given up with Cleome but it looks so good here, mine just get eaten. I also tried Didiscus but never got it to look as healthy as this. It’s very pretty, I think I’ll have to try again.

  10. Christina three beautiful bouquets of summer flowers. I love the Dahlia in dark red and in white and in any color. The Didiscus “blue cord” did not know it and I like it very much. Here in Madrid it is 40ºC of heat. I hope it does not get too hot. Greetings from Margarita.

  11. Simply fabulous collection. I love the plonked Dahlias! Didiscus is new to me and I will have to look it up. I have vases shaped like yours and enjoy using them as well. I wish I could send you a little rain. I can hear thunder in the distance and we have had 11 inches here since the first of June.

  12. What gorgeous blooms. I love both vases. I’m so glad that your knautia germinated . Oh that lovely Didiscus ‘Blue Lace’! That is definitely going on next year’s list. And I love your cleomes too.

  13. So beautiful. Such rich colours. I’ve just planted some zinnias and I’ve direct down some didiscus and larkspur. My dahlias have buds and will be flowering soon- if the slugs don’t get there first. Enjoy the weekend Christina. x

  14. I’m going to have to search out that didiscus as well, its great and I forgot about seeing it last year and wanting it then. I hope it’s made its way across the Atlantic already.
    My dahlias do not look good this year. The ones which survived rot and rain are barely up and were nearly lost to slugs. Now that the weather has turned warmer I hope the survivors can do something.

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